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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 3:38 pm 
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Joined: Tue Jul 27, 2010 2:34 pm
Posts: 146
Location: Essex, UK. Much too far from SA!
Hi,

I am enjoying this TR and as usual your pix are amazing :D

Love that gorgeous male lion in road.
Great bird pix too especially the Roller and the Vulture and the 2 storks :thumbs_up:

More please :popcorn: :popcorn:

DD

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TR: PF & DDs Game of patience in KTP - Oct/Nov 2013
--------------

KNP SEPTEMBER 2014
4/5 B 'n ' Dal
6 Skukuza
7/8 Tamboti
9/10/11 Shimuwini
12/13/14 Shingwedzi
15/16/17/18/19 Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Tue Feb 04, 2014 11:08 pm 
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Award: Sighting of the Year - Small creatures and/or insects (2012)
Thank you all. We had amazing sightings on this trip and so many of them. Making notes as we go along to enable me to write up our TR, always seems to make the sightings look so much more. In the past when we just stopped to watch and take photos, I think we did not quite realise just how much we had seen. Having a notebook and writing down each animal, bird and experience really brings it home to you how much we have seen

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http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=58977Our 2012 Trip Report
... and how I miss being back in the KNP.


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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 4:48 am 
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Lovely sightings. We love the. Satara area, not the traffic jams though. Looking forward to the rest.

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Look deep into nature, and then you will understand everything better
Albert Einstein

KNP July 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 6:53 am 
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What a wonderful start to the trip carolv :clap: :clap: .

Great narration and so many amazing sightings :dance: :dance: .

Thanks for sharing :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Wed Feb 05, 2014 8:11 pm 
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Great start and awesome photos

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Last minute Kruger fix! Can't wait.

26 - 28 April Pretoriuskop (First Time Visit)
29-30 April Olifants
1-2 May Mopani
3-4 May Orpen
5-6 May Lower Sabie



Trip Report Photographs and Memories Kruger June 2013


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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Fri Feb 07, 2014 10:13 pm 
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17th November

It had been a very warm night and we were out of the gate only 10 minutes after the early birds – a definite challenge for us these days! We headed north along the tar and then took the S90 as we had a circular route in mind before returning to cook breakfast. A truly eclectic mix of wildlife along the way – Kudu, Steenbok, 2 young Black-backed Jackals (last year we had seen very few jackals but this trip was the complete opposite),

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Red-crested Korhaan making its very distinctive call,

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Slender Mongoose, Francolins, Wildebeest, Zebra and Giraffe, Waterbuck, Hyena,

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Baboons, Ellies and Saddle-bill Storks in their nest, even a small Dwarf Mongoose family came out to greet us.

By the time we paused at Gudzani Dam we were well ready for our morning coffee whilst watching Crocodiles and Black Crake, Fish Eagle,

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Hippos, Yellow billed Stork and White faced Ducks.

Back on the road we headed west along the S100 finding another Steenbok hiding in the grass. Then a car stopped alongside us and introduced herself as MandyM, another YR currently staying at Satara and whom we would see several more times whilst in the area. No cats along the Alley for us today but a Burchell’s Coucal, Ground Hornbills,

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Waterbuck,

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Giraffe and two Dagga boys.

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Before returning to camp we just had to see if the lions were still anywhere near their kills along the H7 but the only evidence remaining were a pile of bones.

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Passing 4 Ostriches along the way, we headed to Nsemani Dam where we found some of the Lions were out and about. Perhaps they had been down to drink as the day was certainly heating up. We turned round and headed back to camp, a couple of Buffalo feeding close to the road looked up as we passed.

We called into Reception to try to book a Drive for the following night as it would be our last chance before moving north. No problem this time and we put the forms in the car ready to be filled in as necessary.

The heat was becoming quite oppressive now and when we left for an afternoon drive, it was nearly 38 degrees. We drove south passing Ellies and Buffalo before heading east along the H6 N’wanetsi road. Lots to see along this track herds of Zebra and Wildebeest, several Giraffe,

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2 large Tuskers,

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Ostrich

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and a large herd of Elephant. After that it was very quiet, a juvenile Bateleur

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along the S41 (probably the same bird we had seen the previous day) and Kudu and heading back along the S100 again our attention was more taken with the increasing flashes of lightning. It really looked and felt as if a storm were about to break and for sure it broke with a vengeance soon after we returned to camp.

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There is something totally mesmerising about watching an electrical storm in Africa and this one went on for hours and hours.

Oh, and by the way we also saw some rhino today –

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We opted to cook something easy on the hotplates rather than attempt a braai – the rain, when it came, was torrential and everything and everybody had retreated to their huts. We opted to have an early night and see what the next day would bring.

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http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=58977Our 2012 Trip Report
... and how I miss being back in the KNP.


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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:59 am 
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You were lucky to see so many BBJs during this trip Carolv! We didn't see a single one during our trip in January! A matter of the right place at the right time I guess! :clap: :clap:

It was also the first time that we found so many Red-crested Korhaan next to the road! They are beautiful and I couldn't get enough of their calls! :clap: :clap:

Beautiful sightings of general game too, and you have captured the storm perfectly! :D

Stunning picture of the majestic Rhino! :dance: :dance:

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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:07 am 
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Carol,

Stunning :cam: so enjoying your TR...lovely variety you saw today. :thumbs_up:

Electric storm beautifully captured. :clap: :clap:

:popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 6:24 am 
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Great TR Carol, lovely pics of all your sightings, and a wonderful variety :clap: :clap:

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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Sat Feb 08, 2014 3:18 pm 
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Wonderful sightings all around Carolv, especially the BBJ's :dance: :dance: .

Also a beautiful photo of the lightning :thumbs_up: .

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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 1:13 pm 
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Hi Carolv

Your trip has started with some brilliant sightings from animals to scenery. Your stormy night sky is superb. I look forward to reading more on this travel tale.


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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:12 pm 
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18th November

Whilst waiting for the kettle to boil to make up our flask of coffee, I looked out across our circle of huts. Plenty of small branches covered the grass together with large puddles of water somehow made it feel a very different day from yesterday. The temperature was 19 degrees but the dampness made the air feel much cooler. As we drove out to the camp gate, we saw a large tree had been brought down close to the petrol station and we heard from a guide later in the day that one of the kitchens had been struck by lightning and was out of action.

Driving slowly along the Orpen road, herds of Zebra and Wildebeest grazed alongside each other. Small groups of Waterbuck were spotted and the usual pod of Hippos were swimming at Nsemani Dam. Everywhere somehow felt quiet as though the wildlife had sought shelter from the storm last night and were yet to re-emerge. Vultures posed in the trees.

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and the Kudu were back browsing.

After a quick look at the map we decided to try our luck on the S39 as it seemed ages since we had driven along this road. Our first spot was an Hyena, perhaps on its way back to a warm den. The smaller birds were conspicuous by their absence but the large ones were certainly out and about. Lots of Vultures – White-headed, Lappet-faced, White-backed and Hooded.

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Amazing to see such a mix this morning. Marabou Storks were also keeping them company.

Something else to enjoy after the rains were the many scents as we passed – ginger, aniseed, floral and cabbage. Not sure what gave rise to the last ‘perfume’ but for sure this is what we could smell. Several Eagles were in the trees close to the river but it was difficult to confirm whether they were Tawny or Steppe as they were well hidden amongst the branches. We could definitely recognise a pair of Giant Eagle Owls though – one remained in the tree but its mate was on the ground quite close to us.

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A trio of Giraffe stretched out along the track

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in contrast to their much smaller companions of a Tortoise and a Giant Land Snail,

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then more Kudu

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and two Nyala.

At Timbavati Picnic spot we stopped for a comfort break and enjoy our first coffee of the morning. The riverbed was very quiet but a Bataleur soared overhead and a Red-billed Hornbill tried its luck for a dropped crumb or two by the seats.

Back on the road towards Ratelpan but before the S127 road branches off, there is a (usually) small river crossing with a pool of water right next to the road. The rains had obviously increased the water here and we spent a good while in the company of 11 Yellow-billed Storks,

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Grey Heron and a large Crocodile.

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As the crossing here is quite narrow, we needed to move on as more traffic reached us and we had both some nice shots of the Storks. Continuing north the river bed had plenty of flowing water and large pod of Hippos kept us amused

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with Egyptian Geese and a Crocodile on the sandbank. At Ratelpan Hide several smaller birds were about – Black-winged Stilt,

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Sandpiper, Grey Heron,

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Tawny-flanked Prinia, Sunbird, Common Waxbill

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and more Grey Heron and Crocodiles

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further from the bank.

Once back in the car we turned towards the main tar road to find more Giraffe, Wildebeest, Zebra and a Steenbok. Interestingly we had not seen a single Elephant this morning and knowing how they really do not like electrical storms, we could only assume they had sought shelter and kept away from the open savannah area north of Satara.

At one spot along the road we found a large circle of burnt earth – we decided it must have been struck by lightning last night and kept burning until the heavy rain extinguished the flames. Turning right into the camp road we pulled alongside another YR and it was our pleasure to meet Granjan.

We intended to eat earlier today as we had finally got a Sunset drive booked. Despite the protestations of the Reception staff a few days earlier, there were sufficient people to fill two trucks this afternoon. We were lucky enough to go out with Irvine (Irwin?) who has moved up to Satara from Lower Sabie. We have been on drives with him several times in the past and were surprised to see him here. He had decided he knew the Lower Sabie area so well that he needed a new challenge and thus moved northwards. It was a very interesting ‘guest list’ on our truck – all Kruger regulars so good spotters and very knowledgeable. One group were guides and rangers from the USA, mostly working in Yellowstone Park I believe.

After the usual safety check, etc. Irwin noted that the area had been very quiet that day as a result of the previous storm and that no particular animal was guaranteed.

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Never was a truer word spoken on this drive and these words would be recalled on every drive we did during this trip. However, as is so often the case in the Park, we may not have found a single cat (apart from some eyes which he thought might have been Serval) but a very eclectic mix of wildlife were spotted by the time we returned to camp – Impala and lambs, Zebra, Wildbeest, Bull Elephant, Cape Buffalo, Waterbuck, a veritable journey of Giraffes (almost too many to count),

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several small-spotted Genets,

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Lesser Bushbabies, Red-lipped Snake,

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Common Egg-eater Snake, Slender Mongoose, Steenbok, Common Duikers, Red-crested and Black-bellied Korhaans, Hyena den with pups,

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Brown Snake Eagle, Warthogs, 2 Black-backed Jackals, Fireflies and Scrub Hares. What a great night!

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http://www.sanparks.org/forums/viewtopic.php?style=2&f=27&t=58977Our 2012 Trip Report
... and how I miss being back in the KNP.


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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:39 pm 
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Carol,

Super TR filled with wonderful sightings and great pics...another great day in the Park. :thumbs_up:

Gorgeous pic of the Giant Eagle Owls :clap: :clap:

Lovely sighting of the Genets :thumbs_up:

Wonderful pic of the 6 Giraffe crossing the road. :dance:

Always nice to meet other YR's 8)

:popcorn: :popcorn:

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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Sun Feb 09, 2014 8:51 pm 
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Hi Carolv and Wildimage

Just catching up tonight with your TR :thumbs_up:

Ohh, so many great pix again :thumbs_up:

That storm, the Owl, the heron/BW Stilt / Sandpiper, the Common Waxbill, we are SPEECHLESS!!!

Although we are still reliving KTP through our TR you have now ramped up the expectations for KNP in September!

More please.

DD & PF

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We have no time to stand and stare.
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---------------------------------------
SEPTEMBER 2014
4/5 - Berg-en-Dal
6 - Skukuza
7/8 - Tamboti
9/10/11 - Shimuwini
12/13/14- Shingwedzi
15-19 - Letaba


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 Post subject: Re: Courtship Dancing in the KNP Nov-Dec 2013
Unread postPosted: Mon Feb 10, 2014 3:56 am 
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I am also in awe with all your lovely bird sightings Carolv! And the Small-spotted Genets! Great sightings! :clap: :clap:

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